LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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Comments

  • kizkizkizkiz londonMember Posts: 95
    Are any of these non-LEGO companies putting into production genuinely original MOC designs, or just scaling up production of IP infringing MOCs that gets a pass because it was done by an "AFOL" instead of an "evil Chinese company"?
    Yes, they are.
    Xingbao have a good selection of buildings that are original designs, and not stolen from the designers.
    Firaz Abu jabber's vehicles are great too
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,459
    ^But they also have this
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/XingBao-04001-Aliens-Building-Blocks-Set-Toys-Bricks-2020Pcs-DHL-Free-Shipping-/172720156422?_trksid=p2385738.m2548.l4275

    The IP belongs to the Giger estate, not the "designers". Seems like Amador&Ramon are just begging to get sued.
    stlux
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    edited October 2017
    Lepin has slowed down. This is based purely on observing the products it has for sale. It is trying to do four things:
    - match Lego's new releases
    - copy Lego's existing offerings
    - copy Lego's past catalogue
    - its own sets (truly original or copied)

    From what I see, the first has the highest priority. It is trying to achieve "same-day" parity with Lego. It has succeeded for some, and the time gap is ever shrinking. But this has taken a toll on its other projects.

    Its production capabilities also seem to have shrunk -- half allocated to XingBao now? By observing authorized sellers who update their inventories, many older products are now OOS. Not necessarily EOL, just OOS. When will they be re-printed? Don't know. Will they be re-printed? Don't know. Of course, stocks are still available in the market (could be for years, especially for the not so popular stuff).

    In fact, many of the Modular Buildings are now OOS. I find it hard to believe that they will be discontinued (since they should be popular with AFOLs), so it must be that Lepin has a production constraint and is prioritizing other stuff.

    And after making a big splash last year, Lepin is now 'just a thing'. TLG continues to do well. The secondary market has not crashed. The sky has not fallen.
    CaptainPirateMancatwrangler
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    edited October 2017
    I just wanted the retired modulars, IFS and HH. I do feel bad for supporting Lepin in any way, but they provided a way to fill a "need" of mine. Having said that, I'm completely done with them. Honestly I hope Lego shuts them down. They got a few hundred of my dollars, they did.
    Just a minor correction: Lepin did not get hundreds of dollars from you. For each Modular Building sized set, they get US$20 at most. The rest goes to the seller and shipping.

    Due to pent-up demand, people were willing to pay quite high price for discontinued sets, but they are really US$35 sets. The quality must be judged in that context.

    Lepin has gotten more selective on discontinued sets. For some "obscure" ones such as Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal, Lepin seems to make just one small run. They sold out and that's it. This tells me that there isn't much demand for them. (This is my observation, and it may be biased or wrong.)
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 145
    nhyone said:
    Lepin has slowed down.
    Maybe another reason could be their products are being stopped at some countries borders and confiscated thus leading to people not buying Lepin. No new and repeat sales.
    catwrangler
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited October 2017

    Let's not forget the primary market for Lepin sets is Asia, which is also the reason why Lepin clones sets that we would call cheap, like small 20 Dollar sets and the like, which are much more expensive as original Lego in Asia. We have not the slightest clue how Lepin is doing in their primary market, do we?

    The AFOLs buying (Lego-EOL'ed) Lepin sets via AliExpress are just a tiny fraction of the market for them and one that Lepin might not be very interested in in the first place.

    Aanchirbgl_84catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    Although I do have a few more. The only Lepin sets that appealed to me where the ones that were high in the after market. I have far more Lego sets in my layout. I just wanted the retired modulars, IFS and HH. I do feel bad for supporting Lepin in any way, but they provided a way to fill a "need" of mine. Having said that, I'm completely done with them. Honestly I hope Lego shuts them down. They got a few hundred of my dollars, they did. Lego has gotten a few thousand of my dollars though, so I have clearly supported lego. Im not trying to excuse my behavior, just being honest. I LOVE Lego and want to see them succeed.
    Interesting point of view. You have got the knock-offs where you were not willing to pay the secondary market prices for the originals, and now want them shut down as you have filled in the gaps in your collection. What about all the people that want knock-offs of other sets if they are not willing to pay secondary (or primary) market prices? Why should they not have the access to fakes to fill gaps in their collections at the price they are willing to pay, just like you have done?

    Jern92HanzodatsunrobbieScatterbugWookie2dougts
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    CCC said:
    Although I do have a few more. The only Lepin sets that appealed to me where the ones that were high in the after market. I have far more Lego sets in my layout. I just wanted the retired modulars, IFS and HH. I do feel bad for supporting Lepin in any way, but they provided a way to fill a "need" of mine. Having said that, I'm completely done with them. Honestly I hope Lego shuts them down. They got a few hundred of my dollars, they did. Lego has gotten a few thousand of my dollars though, so I have clearly supported lego. Im not trying to excuse my behavior, just being honest. I LOVE Lego and want to see them succeed.
    Interesting point of view. You have got the knock-offs where you were not willing to pay the secondary market prices for the originals, and now want them shut down as you have filled in the gaps in your collection. What about all the people that want knock-offs of other sets if they are not willing to pay secondary (or primary) market prices? Why should they not have the access to fakes to fill gaps in their collections at the price they are willing to pay, just like you have done?

    I'll take hypocrisy for $200 Alex. 
    CaptainPirateMandougts
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 335
    It's absolutely a hypocrisy on my part. I don't deny it. 

    Having said that, I was always operating under the thought that "come September 2017, Lego COULD and SHOULD shut Lepin down." So I viewed Lepin as a "get it now" type of thing. Not just for me, but for everybody. Well it's October 2017, when are we going to get some news on the lawsuit?
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    It's absolutely a hypocrisy on my part. I don't deny it. 

    Having said that, I was always operating under the thought that "come September 2017, Lego COULD and SHOULD shut Lepin down." So I viewed Lepin as a "get it now" type of thing. Not just for me, but for everybody. Well it's October 2017, when are we going to get some news on the lawsuit?
    I might be wrong obviously, but I don't think it matters if Lego wins or not. Whatever company owns Lepin will probably set up shop under a new name and continue business as usual in the event Lego "wins". I'm sort of surprised TLG was dumb enough to bother with a lawsuit. There's probably a reason Disney and Nike have avoided pursuing large-scale legal action with Chinese companies that produce knock-offs (it's a waste of time and money).
  • stetstet Member Posts: 44
    The thing is, what Lepin is doing may actually be considered legal per Chinese law as long as the products are produced for sale within China.  It is 3rd party resellers who are distributing these sets outside of China.
    PapaBear
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,483
    I would not be surprised to see TLG and Lepin come to some legal arrangement.
    Either TLG will buy them out, depending on the size of Lepin within China, or TLG will go into business with Lepin, Lepin producing Lego for sale within China.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 324
    Venunder said:
    I would not be surprised to see TLG and Lepin come to some legal arrangement.
    Either TLG will buy them out, depending on the size of Lepin within China, or TLG will go into business with Lepin, Lepin producing Lego for sale within China.

    Why would Lego do that?  They have a proprietary factory in China and do not need Lepin to manufacture anything. 
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,483
    ^Extra capacity to supply the growing market of China. Which potentially will be bigger than the USA market and Europe combined. 
    The next step 10 to 15 years down the line would be further expansion into India.
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 145
    Yeah but the problem is if they buy them out they are sneaky enough to just start another company and another factory and start Lepin all over again.
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 349
    No way Lego would buy out Lepin. "Extra capacity" doesn't work - they would still need to tear it all down and build up the factory to their standards, using their machines, moulds, plastics from their suppliers, etc. It's as much work as buying any piece of land in China and starting fresh.
    stluxMuftak1HanzoLyichirAanchir
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    edited October 2017
    Venunder said:
    I would not be surprised to see TLG and Lepin come to some legal arrangement.
    Either TLG will buy them out, depending on the size of Lepin within China, or TLG will go into business with Lepin, Lepin producing Lego for sale within China.
    Not that it would ever happen but if it did it would set an absolutely terrible precedent.
    Aanchir
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    Looks like a cool xenomorph / Alien ...



  • Habitant99Habitant99 FloridaMember Posts: 99
    It looks like LepinBrick.com is down... Can still find the sets on sites, but their overall site looks to be offline (possibly related.)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    It looks like LepinBrick.com is down... Can still find the sets on sites, but their overall site looks to be offline (possibly related.)
    I don't think that site has anything to do with lepin though. It is just a shopify link. There are quite a few "official" lepin websites ... probably none of them are, just resellers.

    https://www.shoplepin.com/

    https://www.legolepin.com/

    http://www.lepinblock.com/

    And other shopify ones like

    https://brickfantasy.myshopify.com/

  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    CCC said:
    I wonder how long that website will last once TLG lawyers spot it :-)
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    dmcc0 said:
    CCC said:
    I wonder how long that website will last once TLG lawyers spot it :-)
    This one is definitely not Lepin because they will never call themselves Lego.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    It has been around a few months.
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 395
    ^^ Can't they just say it's not LEGO, it's LEGO-compatible.  I see that all the time
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 378
    PapaBear said:
    ^^ Can't they just say it's not LEGO, it's LEGO-compatible.  I see that all the time
    Isn't that what MegaBlocks says, or am I mistaking?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    PapaBear said:
    ^^ Can't they just say it's not LEGO, it's LEGO-compatible.  I see that all the time
    Isn't that what MegaBlocks says, or am I mistaking?
    Most clones say "compatible with the leading brand" as they cannot use the LEGO name in their advertising.

  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 145
    Tyco used to with Super Blocks ads. I know Lego tried to sue them for being a clone brand but was saying compatible with Lego one of the reasons?
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    nhyone said:
    This one is definitely not Lepin because they will never call themselves Lego.
    Is says it's the official L.e.g.0 Lepin website, right there at the top of the homepage :-)
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    I'm not sure why people get upset if Lepin or someone else commercializes a MOC (or a derivation of a MOC) that they developed, if they were not or could not commercialize it themselves.  Where is the harm?

    If someone wanted to commercialize something I did, I wouldn't care.  Hell, I'd be flattered. Someone else making money from it wouldn't be costing me ANYTHING, so why would I be upset about it?
    Jern92
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,803
    edited November 2017
    alaskaguy said:
    I'm not sure why people get upset if Lepin or someone else commercializes a MOC (or a derivation of a MOC) that they developed, if they were not or could not commercialize it themselves.  Where is the harm?
    For one thing, in some cases when Lepin makes a set based on somebody's MOC, other AFOLs have started speculating that the original creator of the MOC agreed to have Lepin produce that set. For instance, when Lepin copied wooootles' Barnes and Noble MOC, people right here on Brickset had the gall to suggest that he might have been disgruntled with the MOC not passing the LEGO Ideas review and "sold out" to a less-than-reputable company. Much like any sort of unlicensed use of another person's intellectual property, it implies a relationship that isn't really there, and one that could potentially tarnish the reputation of the person who created the design.

    There's also just the general negative feeling that comes with being taken advantage of. When somebody puts a digital model file or building instructions for one of their models online, they usually intend for it to be freely available to everybody. For another company to exploit their generosity by taking that design, claiming it as their own, and profiting from it is a serious breach of trust.

    And finally, especially in the age of the internet, art theft in general is a real problem, commercially or non-commercially. Artists are forced to always be on the lookout for other people using their art without permission or attribution. In a worst case scenario, breaking the chain of attribution makes it unclear who originated the design in the first place. What happens when somebody who never encountered the MOC except as a Lepin set sees a picture of the original out-of-context? They may not even give it a second glance, since there's nothing making it obvious that it's an original creation. The artist may not lose money in this way, but they miss out on getting credit for their own creativity. Only a total dumbass would think that a lack of financial harm somehow makes that perfectly okay.

    Just because you'd be flattered by a company exploiting your creativity and taking credit for your creations doesn't mean other, more self-respecting artists should feel the same way.
    stluxLuLegohewmanTkattcatwrangler
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited November 2017
    Aanchir said:
    ...
    If people come to incorrect conclusions, I hardly see why a MOC-creator should care. He/she/it/they/them/whatever isn't responsible for what someone else thinks.

    I have to disagree with your second point.  Lepin (or whomever) commercializing it doesn't remove the ability of people to take the freely available instructions and build it.  They've lost NOTHING. How is anyone taken advantage of? 

    If people are concerned about "getting credit" for something - maybe they could create a sort of..."Lego MOC original creation certification" website (wordy title, I know - but go with it for now).  In this model - the operator(s) of the site could serve as sort of a "idea clearinghouse" - where people submit the MOC they want to register as their original, and the site could certify it and create a public record (sort of like how the patent system works in the US). Same site could have options to publish the instructions for free, or for a small fee (at the discretion of the submitter), etc.  Fund the whole thing with advertisements, or membership fees, or submission fees, or whatever.  See there? all of the sudden, a problem becomes a business opportunity.  And if someone wants to take this idea and run with it and make a million dollars, I will not be the slightest bit offended or unhappy that I was taken advantage of (:

    It is COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC to expect to post something on-line for the "public good" and expect it to remain pure and unfettered, as if we're living in a utopian paradise.  You can wish for it all you want to, but that is simply not how the real world works.   Better to create a SOLUTION for a problem than pine away about wishing the problem didn't exist.

    dougts
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    alaskaguy said:

    It is COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC to expect to post something on-line for the "public good" and expect it to remain pure and unfettered, as if we're living in a utopian paradise.  You can wish for it all you want to, but that is simply not how the real world works.   Better to create a SOLUTION for a problem than pine away about wishing the problem didn't exist.

    That is why many people refuse to put LDD files up for MOCs these days. It used to be that people shared their designs more freely but are now more cautious.

    Following your arguments, someone could easily take an article published on the internet and sell it on as an ebook, written by themself for profit. They have done no harm to the original author, since they weren't making money from it. Similarly, someone could download all the instructions of LEGO's website and sell them on a CD, claiming they are doing no harm as they were being given away free anyway so LEGO makes no loss.

    alaskaguy said:

    If people are concerned about "getting credit" for something - maybe they could create a sort of..."Lego MOC original creation certification" website (wordy title, I know - but go with it for now).  In this model - the operator(s) of the site could serve as sort of a "idea clearinghouse" - where people submit the MOC they want to register as their original, and the site could certify it and create a public record (sort of like how the patent system works in the US). Same site could have options to publish the instructions for free, or for a small fee (at the discretion of the submitter), etc.  Fund the whole thing with advertisements, or membership fees, or submission fees, or whatever.  See there? all of the sudden, a problem becomes a business opportunity. 

    But why would anyone wanting to copy stuff abide by this. This is no different to now, it only works if people copying stuff agree that the original author has rights. If they don't agree with that, they will just steal designs anyway.
    stluxcatwrangler
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited November 2017
    People absolutely could make either of those arguments.  Hell, people/sites are posting Lego instructions. 
    But why would anyone wanting to copy stuff abide by this. This is no different to now, it only works if people copying stuff agree that the original author has rights. If they don't agree with that, they will just steal designs anyway.
    Completely true. The point of what I suggested is not to prevent people from copying stuff.  It would be to serve as an accepted source of truth for the origination of the stuff, so that people could "get credit" for being the original author and/or original authorship could be determined/verified.

    It wouldn't keep anyone from copying something and making a million dollars from it. But it would, once such a service became sufficiently "established", serve as evidence for who originally created that something.  For example - if I registered my MOC on the site today, and in 8 weeks, Lepin is selling it, anyone who wanted to could verify my claim as original author by using the site.

    The only way to keep someone from "stealing your idea" is to not tell anyone your idea.  Most people will find that unsatisfactory.


    mafon
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,803
    alaskaguy said:
    Aanchir said:
    ...
    If people come to incorrect conclusions, I hardly see why a MOC-creator should care. He/she/it/they/them/whatever isn't responsible for what someone else thinks.

    I have to disagree with your second point.  Lepin (or whomever) commercializing it doesn't remove the ability of people to take the freely available instructions and build it.  They've lost NOTHING. How is anyone taken advantage of? 

    If people are concerned about "getting credit" for something - maybe they could create a sort of..."Lego MOC original creation certification" website (wordy title, I know - but go with it for now).  In this model - the operator(s) of the site could serve as sort of a "idea clearinghouse" - where people submit the MOC they want to register as their original, and the site could certify it and create a public record (sort of like how the patent system works in the US). Same site could have options to publish the instructions for free, or for a small fee (at the discretion of the submitter), etc.  Fund the whole thing with advertisements, or membership fees, or submission fees, or whatever.  See there? all of the sudden, a problem becomes a business opportunity.  And if someone wants to take this idea and run with it and make a million dollars, I will not be the slightest bit offended or unhappy that I was taken advantage of (:

    It is COMPLETELY UNREALISTIC to expect to post something on-line for the "public good" and expect it to remain pure and unfettered, as if we're living in a utopian paradise.  You can wish for it all you want to, but that is simply not how the real world works.   Better to create a SOLUTION for a problem than pine away about wishing the problem didn't exist.

    Nobody's "pining away about wishing the problem didn't exist". Art theft exists and it sucks and it's something that artists unfortunately have to deal with. That doesn't mean they should just pretend that people or companies that steal their work are harmless or innocent, though. They have every right to get angry about shitty companies like Lepin taking credit for and making money off of their work because those companies are too cheap and shameless to spend any money or effort coming up with creative designs of their own.

    It's very telling that your only solutions to the problem involve the ARTISTS taking on additional burdens, rather than, say, the actual thieves in this scenario suffering any kind of repercussions for their reprehensible actions. We as AFOLs may not have a lot of power to fight Lepin through the court system, but we can sure as hell use our voices to condemn them and to remind AFOLs who buy Lepin products how their thoughtlessness harms our community spirit. wooootles ended up taking down all his LXFs after one of his MOCs was stolen. Previously, AFOLs could build many of his creations for themselves with relative ease. But Lepin's selfish actions cost us that opportunity. A great deal of trust was lost. And that was just the start. Do we really want to promote a culture where the best LEGO artists start withholding their work or hiding it behind paywalls because they're afraid it will be stolen otherwise? And what if they take these precautions and it gets stolen anyway? A climate where any great work you do will be taken from you unless you dedicate exponentially more effort to protecting it is toxic to the spirit of creation.

    We can't talk about knock-offs like this as if they are some kind of neutral force of nature with no accounting for their actions. They are an organization of people who consciously steal the work of artists and designers in order to make an easy profit. They deserve to be shamed for that, as do buyers who brush aside all these violations because they're too selfish to accept the possibility of not owning all the cool things they want that would take too much money or too much effort to obtain legitimately. And in no circumstance should any of us be making boneheaded assertions that artists should be grateful or complacent about their work being stolen because they weren't commercializing it themselves anyway.
    stluxmonkeyhangerhewmanTkattcatwranglerMAGNINOMINISUMBRABumblepantsdrdavewatford
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited November 2017
    "Very telling"....it's simply practicality.  If you want the people copying designs to suffer any kind of real consequences, then you have to sue them.  If you don't have the resources to sue them, they're not going to suffer any real consequences (determinable by whether the behaviour continues). 

    You can either accept that, and look for some other solution, or you can not accept it, and do nothing.  Or, as you suggest, you can talk about it publicly, across your fingers and hope for the best. Personally, from what I can tell, that approach is not leading to satisfying results for people. Maybe it is....but it doesn't seem that way.

    Some create.
    Some take.
    Some profit.

    Those are the facts, and they're not going to change - regardless of what one wants to accepts as true.


    dougts
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    ...and as a side note...I don't own any Lepin or other "Lego knock off" brands, nor am I copying anyone's MOCs...and I don't see myself doing either in the foreseeable future.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,803
    I understand that AFOLs don't have a lot of power to fight Lepin. I understand that dragging Lepin through the mud won't in and of itself be enough to shut them down. But that's no reason to say MOCists shouldn't care about their work being stolen (or that they should be happy about it), which is the ludicrous assertion you led with.

    There's nothing unreasonable about being upset or angry that something you worked hard on is being exploited by a cheap, lazy, and unethical company that never sought your permission or made any effort to compensate you for your designs. It's the same reason an artist would be pissed off about somebody selling T-shirts decorated with a painting or drawing they made and claiming the design as their own. It doesn't matter if you were planning to commercialize the design, it's still theft of your hard work. Is that really so hard to understand?
    stlux
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited November 2017
    Aanchir said:
    I understand that AFOLs don't have a lot of power to fight Lepin. I understand that dragging Lepin through the mud won't in and of itself be enough to shut them down. But that's no reason to say MOCists shouldn't care about their work being stolen (or that they should be happy about it), which is the ludicrous assertion you led with.

    There's nothing unreasonable about being upset or angry that something you worked hard on is being exploited by a cheap, lazy, and unethical company that never sought your permission or made any effort to compensate you for your designs. It's the same reason an artist would be pissed off about somebody selling T-shirts decorated with a painting or drawing they made and claiming the design as their own. It doesn't matter if you were planning to commercialize the design, it's still theft of your hard work. Is that really so hard to understand?
    We will just have to agree to disagree (:

    But I will ask you this....suppose someone posts their MOC on-line, and someone else copies it and makes money from it without crediting that person.  And let's suppose that pisses off that person, as well as a bunch of other people. 

    How many times does that need to happen before the rational thing to do is to take a step BEYOND caring about it, being angry about it and talking about it? And what do you think that step should be?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    alaskaguy said:
    People absolutely could make either of those arguments.  Hell, people/sites are posting Lego instructions. 
    But why would anyone wanting to copy stuff abide by this. This is no different to now, it only works if people copying stuff agree that the original author has rights. If they don't agree with that, they will just steal designs anyway.
    Completely true. The point of what I suggested is not to prevent people from copying stuff.  It would be to serve as an accepted source of truth for the origination of the stuff, so that people could "get credit" for being the original author and/or original authorship could be determined/verified.

    It wouldn't keep anyone from copying something and making a million dollars from it. But it would, once such a service became sufficiently "established", serve as evidence for who originally created that something.  For example - if I registered my MOC on the site today, and in 8 weeks, Lepin is selling it, anyone who wanted to could verify my claim as original author by using the site.

    Why would this new site ever be believed or accepted by the community? After all, someone could copy the idea and set up their own verified MOC owner site. Uploading something to it would not mean you were necessarily the first to upload it to the internet, yet by being on the site would lead to the claim that the uploader is the true original author. You could have multiple sites all claiming that different users were the original author. So if someone uses site B and does not accept the claims of A and they upload to either B or one of the many existing MOC sites, then someone could steal from there and upload to the site A, and then claim authorship as that is what the site A is for. Everyone would have to upload to every site to register their design, or others could use these sites to claim their right to the design.

    So the situation is no different to now. Any author whose design gets ripped off by Lepin or other fakers can just point to their creation on a timestamped website like Eurobricks or MOCpages for proof that they were the original author.
    stlux
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    edited November 2017
    CCC said:
    alaskaguy said:
    People absolutely could make either of those arguments.  Hell, people/sites are posting Lego instructions. 
    But why would anyone wanting to copy stuff abide by this. This is no different to now, it only works if people copying stuff agree that the original author has rights. If they don't agree with that, they will just steal designs anyway.
    Completely true. The point of what I suggested is not to prevent people from copying stuff.  It would be to serve as an accepted source of truth for the origination of the stuff, so that people could "get credit" for being the original author and/or original authorship could be determined/verified.

    It wouldn't keep anyone from copying something and making a million dollars from it. But it would, once such a service became sufficiently "established", serve as evidence for who originally created that something.  For example - if I registered my MOC on the site today, and in 8 weeks, Lepin is selling it, anyone who wanted to could verify my claim as original author by using the site.

    Why would this new site ever be believed or accepted by the community? After all, someone could copy the idea and set up their own verified MOC owner site. Uploading something to it would not mean you were necessarily the first to upload it to the internet, yet by being on the site would lead to the claim that the uploader is the true original author. You could have multiple sites all claiming that different users were the original author. So if someone uses site B and does not accept the claims of A and they upload to either B or one of the many existing MOC sites, then someone could steal from there and upload to the site A, and then claim authorship as that is what the site A is for. Everyone would have to upload to every site to register their design, or others could use these sites to claim their right to the design.

    So the situation is no different to now. Any author whose design gets ripped off by Lepin or other fakers can just point to their creation on a timestamped website like Eurobricks or MOCpages for proof that they were the original author.
    You're right. Just continue the present course of action. It is achieving excellent results.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    alaskaguy said:

    How many times does that need to happen before the rational thing to do is to take a step BEYOND caring about it, being angry about it and talking about it? And what do you think that step should be?
    Probably just once. What should that step be? Probably advertising on AFOL websites that the company has stolen your design, that others should not buy the set, and that if people want to buy the design from the real author, they can purchase instructions from < wherever > or release them for free with a donation suggested.

    dmcc0
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    CCC said:
    alaskaguy said:

    How many times does that need to happen before the rational thing to do is to take a step BEYOND caring about it, being angry about it and talking about it? And what do you think that step should be?
    Probably just once. What should that step be? Probably advertising on AFOL websites that the company has stolen your design, that others should not buy the set, and that if people want to buy the design from the real author, they can purchase instructions from < wherever > or release them for free with a donation suggested.
    Has that eliminated the problem?
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,803
    alaskaguy said:
    Aanchir said:
    I understand that AFOLs don't have a lot of power to fight Lepin. I understand that dragging Lepin through the mud won't in and of itself be enough to shut them down. But that's no reason to say MOCists shouldn't care about their work being stolen (or that they should be happy about it), which is the ludicrous assertion you led with.

    There's nothing unreasonable about being upset or angry that something you worked hard on is being exploited by a cheap, lazy, and unethical company that never sought your permission or made any effort to compensate you for your designs. It's the same reason an artist would be pissed off about somebody selling T-shirts decorated with a painting or drawing they made and claiming the design as their own. It doesn't matter if you were planning to commercialize the design, it's still theft of your hard work. Is that really so hard to understand?
    We will just have to agree to disagree (:

    But I will ask you this....suppose someone posts their MOC on-line, and someone else copies it and makes money from it without crediting that person.  And let's suppose that pisses off that person, as well as a bunch of other people. 

    How many times does that need to happen before the rational thing to do is to take a step BEYOND caring about it, being angry about it and talking about it? And what do you think that step should be?
    I think the simplest and most effective step most creators could take would be to stop publicly sharing their creations. Whether that means moving to private Facebook groups, “members-only” forums, or pay-gated sites like Patreon, or to only exhibit at live events and not post creations online at all, or to stop showing creations to strangers altogether. Naturally, any of these steps would be a detriment to the community, but so is MOC theft in and of itself.

    All that said, I also don’t think anger or indignation has to be backed by actions to be valid. Sometimes the most important step is just to accept that when bad things happen it’s OK to be upset about them. You can accept those feelings without forgiving the actions against you that made you feel that way.
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    Aanchir said:
    I think the simplest and most effective step most creators could take would be to stop publicly sharing their creations.
    I agree.
    Aanchir said:
    All that said, I also don’t think anger or indignation has to be backed by actions to be valid. Sometimes the most important step is just to accept that when bad things happen it’s OK to be upset about them. You can accept those feelings without forgiving the actions against you that made you feel that way.
    I guess so.  To to quote of the greatest lines in movie history, "Would it help?"  It doesn't seem to ME that it is helpful to be angry about stuff that is largely out of your control. But do some find it cathartic?  Quite possibly.

  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,459
    Having a website where people post their MOCs won't resolve the problem of IP theft. Rebrickable has been hosting MOCs for several years, and there are some people removing their MOCs from the website because companies have taken their designs and made sets without crediting the designer.

    The other flaw with such a website is more than one person may have an idea for a set based on something they have seen, and come up with very similar MOCs. There's a rather obscure website where people submit their ideas for sets to a manufacturer with hopes that the set will someday be produced, and there has been at least one case where a person felt their design was ripped off by the site operators. The incident still haunts the website.

    Generally speaking, people who are not concerned about IP theft are the ones who have not ever created anything worth stealing.
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    Again, the proposal I raised was not intended to protect against IP theft. It was addressing the "getting credit" point raised by a previous poster.

    The only way to fully protect against IP theft is to not reveal your IP to anyone.  Most people do not find that satisfactory, nor does it provide them with any kind of "getting credit".

    If you put your IP out into the wild, you have to accept the fact that someone, somewhere, may use your IP with your permission, let alone provide you with credit or compensation. If that's a concern, best move is to not put it out into the wild.

    As for Lepin and Lego.....even if Lego wins its lawsuit (and I certainly hope it does), all Lepin has to do is arrange for some new corporation to come along and do what it is doing - and Lego will have to start all over again.  At the end of the day, when you're dealing with "unfair actors" (and China certainly counts as one in this regard), you're not going to win by attempting to turn them into "fair" actors.  You may as well try to domesticate the zebra.  The best Lego could do here is pull all of its resources out of China entirely, refuse to ship any product there, and let the chips fall where they may.  If it is unwilling to accept those consequences, then it should AT LEAST include, in every single package they sell, a flyer expressing its view toward Lepin, warning its customers off from buying Lepin, etc. etc. (create maximum anti-brand awareness).
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,790
    alaskaguy said:
    Again, the proposal I raised was not intended to protect against IP theft. It was addressing the "getting credit" point raised by a previous poster.

    Yet it doesn't do anything more than is currently done. If someone wants credit for their MOC, they just need to point to the location where they originally uploaded it, showing the date. There is no need for a new MOC registration site. Such a site is no more official than the multitude of places people already upload their MOCs to.
    alaskaguy said:
    The best Lego could do here is pull all of its resources out of China entirely, refuse to ship any product there, and let the chips fall where they may. 
    That won't change anything. They can still make fake LEGO without LEGO presence in China. In fact, it would be even worse, since if LEGO had no presence whatsoever in China, then they would lose their well-known trademark recogition.

    https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/news-room/2017/november/lego-trademark-china

    Then Chinese company could start using that too.
    alaskaguy said:
    If it is unwilling to accept those consequences, then it should AT LEAST include, in every single package they sell, a flyer expressing its view toward Lepin, warning its customers off from buying Lepin, etc. etc. (create maximum anti-brand awareness).
    Advertising the existence of Lepin in every LEGO set would be a terrible idea. Anti-brand awareness is brand awareness, telling people that cheap alternatives of LEGO sets exist and giving them the company name to search for.
    datsunrobbiestluxdmcc0catwrangler
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,459
    alaskaguy said:
    Again, the proposal I raised was not intended to protect against IP theft. It was addressing the "getting credit" point raised by a previous poster.

    As for Lepin and Lego.....even if Lego wins its lawsuit (and I certainly hope it does), all Lepin has to do is arrange for some new corporation to come along and do what it is doing - and Lego will have to start all over again.  At the end of the day, when you're dealing with "unfair actors" (and China certainly counts as one in this regard), you're not going to win by attempting to turn them into "fair" actors.  You may as well try to domesticate the zebra.  The best Lego could do here is pull all of its resources out of China entirely, refuse to ship any product there, and let the chips fall where they may.  If it is unwilling to accept those consequences, then it should AT LEAST include, in every single package they sell, a flyer expressing its view toward Lepin, warning its customers off from buying Lepin, etc. etc. (create maximum anti-brand awareness). 

    https://brickset.com/article/17512/ghostbusters-response-by-lego-to-project-creator

    As I mentioned, there are already websites available for posting MOCs to get credit for the idea. It does not always work out.

    As for pulling out of China, in what way does ceding the entire market to the competition benefit LEGO? Is it because LEPIN would no longer have to worry about keeping their prices low, or because LEPIN could relax their quality control?

    Negative ad campaigns may work for politicians, but in the real world they would only serve to let buyers know that the target of the ad is available, cheaper, and of high enough quality to scare LEGO. It would indeed create maximum LEPIN awareness, the exact opposite of the desired effect.
    stlux
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 333
    (:
    CCC said:
    Yet it doesn't do anything more than is currently done. If someone wants credit for their MOC, they just need to point to the location where they originally uploaded it, showing the date. There is no need for a new MOC registration site. Such a site is no more official than the multitude of places people already upload their MOCs to.
    OK - status quo. Do nothing different and wait for different results.
    CCC said:
    That won't change anything. They can still make fake LEGO without LEGO presence in China. In fact, it would be even worse, since if LEGO had no presence whatsoever in China, then they would lose their well-known trademark recogition.
    I didn't suggest that it would change anything in terms of fakes.  I was suggesting that Lego may as well stop giving them money.
    Advertising the existence of Lepin in every LEGO set would be a terrible idea. Anti-brand awareness is brand awareness, telling people that cheap alternatives of LEGO sets exist and giving them the company name to search for.
    Yep. Better to let people find it on their own, rather than at least trying to control the message.

    All in all, you're right. There is absolutely nothing that can or should be done. Better to just sit back, do nothing practical, and wait for change.





















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